is anyone a better rider on a 450?

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8/14/2017 10:42 PM

It seems all i hear is about how 450's are too much, are too heavy, too much this too much that

Myself i find them easier to ride. You can click it in a higher gear and lug it when its nasty and get way better traction than a 250f, and the tons of torque makes mistakes seem lest costly and easier to recover from. I run xc and when my skill runs short and i come to a nasty rut and root infested hillclimb with bikes down everywhere i can drag my legs like a goon and abuse the clutch and let the 450 power claw its way to the top.

Maybe its just me but i find the 450s easier to ride.


8/14/2017 10:45 PM

A 450 is faster yes, it does not make you a better rider.


8/14/2017 10:47 PM

You dont say.


8/14/2017 11:08 PM

They're an open class bike, just a lot easier to ride than the old 500's ever were. None of us need 60hp and as 250's continue to get better I predict 450s will become less and less popular, just like the 500's did.


8/14/2017 11:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/14/2017 11:14 PM

I ride a 450 better aswell. Im very smooth and don't use alot of energy. high gears and ride in the meat of the power. Whenever i jump on a 250f now i feel like I'm going to crash my brains out cause i gotta rev the thing so hard instead of be able to carry momentum like on the 450. Also a Big advatange of a 450 is less maintenance if you ride alot. ( I've done 90hours on a 17 450sxf and haven't had any problems)


8/14/2017 11:31 PM

Tim Gajser wink


8/15/2017 1:35 AM

You actually call the problem yourself. You will try to solve your own limitations with a lot of power. With less power, you need to pay attention to your technique and become a better driver. It is not for nothing that 125 is the best engine to learn. It is also on the mx tracks you drive. Here in the Netherlands are many heavy sandtracks that get very heavy soon. Then a 450 really is not for everyone, especially for the narrow/small people. In deep sand a 450 feels heavy.


8/15/2017 1:39 AM

Faster? Some might be, but I think most would likely turn their fastest consistent laps on something like a 350. What you described sounds lazy too me, and that doesn't equal a "better rider". For the average joe (like myself) a 450 is often a lot to handle, and something with a little less power and weight would be better most of he time. 450s are really fun though.


Go Hawks!

8/15/2017 2:05 AM

Davalos is!


8/15/2017 3:20 AM

I have more fun riding 450 than any other bike and I'm also faster on 450. I really enjoy the rush of bike accelerating really fast and riding smooth with low revs and big gear. A few weeks back we tested the whole MX/enduro 2018 lineup from KTM and the bigger (not 500EXC) four strokes were my favourites. Also I don't feel riding 125 2T makes you faster rider, just faster on 125 2T.


8/15/2017 4:37 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/15/2017 4:38 AM

450 has made me a very lazy rider. Just click 3rd and ride, but in saying that. Laptimes are improving all the time for me On the 450.


8/15/2017 4:53 AM

I don't know if 450 makes me "better rider" but atleast im alot more comfortable with the 450 riding style, lower revs and smooth feeling. I spent two seasons on 350 but when i made the switch to 450 i immediatly felt right at home on it. Handling is alot better because of the lower revs and it doesn't really feel that much heavier. I don't get as much fatique on 450 as on the 350 because i don't have to ride it so hard. And still i'm faster on 450.


8/15/2017 5:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/15/2017 5:15 AM

snape99 wrote:

450 has made me a very lazy rider. Just click 3rd and ride, but in saying that. Laptimes are improving all the time for me On ...more

This is an interesting point. I think it's a very good reflection of why the sport doesn't seem as exciting as it once was, and why I still somehow admire the skill of someone like Jeff Ward more than current pros.

As it's been said, had we never gone to four stroke technology, James Stewart would have decimated everyone for years to come. The four strokes leveled the playing field and made us faster with less effort (or skill).

All of this has been repeated, but your post crystalizes the point in a way anyone can understand.


8/15/2017 5:39 AM

nytsmaC wrote:

They're an open class bike, just a lot easier to ride than the old 500's ever were. None of us need 60hp and as 250's continue ...more

I was just thinking this the other day. I remember the last couple years of the old two stroke 500's, the field was hugely separated from those who could ride them at 100% vs guys who couldn't. There wasn't much racing at the front. Now, I'm seeing the same thing with the new 450's. The class, I believe, has a larger separation from the front runners to the back of the packers, then the smaller bike. I blame excess HP.


8/15/2017 5:56 AM



Nobody ever told me, I found out for myself. You've got to believe in foolish miracles. It's not how you play the game, it's if you win or lose. You can choose. Don't confuse. Win or lose. It's up to you!

8/15/2017 6:07 AM

Ive always felt better on a 450. Plus i dont have to rev the piss out of it. Engine lasts longer and saves me money. Lastly going from a supersport to a 125 or 250f feels like going from a lambo to a prius.

As far as BEING better, thats subjective. Faster yes, technique, fuck no. Rip it and go


2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

8/15/2017 6:09 AM

Agree that 450s are open bikes, but 500s were much harder to ride.. not really faster, just less civilized. Loved those big beasts though..

I'm a better rider on a 450, the options in how to put power down make me faster and smoother. The ability to carry speed at lower rpm works better for me. Then the option to turn it up and get huge boost when I want it makes me grin..


8/15/2017 6:14 AM

snape99 wrote:

450 has made me a very lazy rider. Just click 3rd and ride, but in saying that. Laptimes are improving all the time for me On ...more

jonesaustin wrote:

This is an interesting point. I think it's a very good reflection of why the sport doesn't seem as exciting as it once was, ...more

I totally agree - I've been saying for years that had two strokes remained the bike of choice JS7 would have dominated.

As far as the dumbing down of skill level I know when I came off a 125 and got a 250F in 2005 it was an absolute game changer for me. After two seasons I went to a 450 and I tried to ride it like a 250F but it wasn't happening, I'd get a hole shot then fade to last place in 450C (out of like 5 riders) whereas the season before I raced my 250F in 450C and could come back from 14th place to 3rd/4th and honestly feel like if I had more laps I could have done better. I put probably 15 hours on my 2007 YZ450F, made me not even want to ride.

In 2008 I went back to a 250F and fell back in love with riding again. I spent 2013 - 2017 on a 450 and it was ok but I went to a 350 this year and its been super fun but even that engine is oddly configured and its taking me some time to get used to it. I can basically ride 85% of most track in 2nd gear. On a 450F I was basically in 3rd 90% of the time and went into 2nd in the tight corners.

I went and rode mountain bikes the other weekend and it was a breath of fresh air. Sometimes I feel like I'm falling out of love with the sport.


8/15/2017 6:15 AM

The 450 is the best bike for my style of riding at the moment. I like to ride with low revs and one gear higher, you can't do that with anything else than a 450. And it's at the same time the cheapest bike to maintain.

I'll do a KTM demo day with all 2018 bikes next week(including the enduros), i'll try to ride the 350 as much as possible.


Current fleet of two wheeled vehicles:
- Yamaha YZ450F 2020
- Suzuki GSX-R 600 K7 track spec
- Canyon Sender CF 8.0 2018 Downhill
- White GX Pro 20 Gravel

8/15/2017 8:05 AM

It is easier to go fast on a 450, but I feel I'm just as fast on my CR250 as a vet rider. I just have to work harder on the 2t vs. the thumper.


Speak softly and carry a big stick.

8/15/2017 8:36 AM

A lot of variables in this question. Your size , weight , speed and most importantly....your riding fitness. Also depends I guess where you ride.

I know 15 years ago that 450's weren't near as strong as they are now....and with me being 15 years older....the gap ( for myself ) kept getting bigger.

I was getting older....bikes getting stronger , and stepping down a size or two on the bikes , sure as hell helped me.

Bottom line : everyone is different.


" And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

8/15/2017 8:39 AM

jeffro503 wrote:

A lot of variables in this question. Your size , weight , speed and most importantly....your riding fitness. Also depends I ...more


with me i noticed that when i quit riding, i got weaker, and when i started riding again as shell of my former self, the 450 felt like a beast. but when i was 18 19 20, i was definietely faster on my 450 than my 250f


8/15/2017 8:48 AM

Hopefully Thomas Covington


8/15/2017 9:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/15/2017 9:36 AM

My results got WAY better when I got on a 450 (from a 250f). I'm racing hare and hounds, hare scrambles, enduro's, GP' I can't speak for moto. I'm a 175 pound, mid-pack Vet A rider in the desert.

With that said my much-faster-than-me brother just sold his YZ450 and bought a YZ250X (two stroke)...he LOVES IT. Says its more fun to ride, etc. etc. (and he's still way faster than me). Summer break is almost over, so we'll see how his results fair on the two stroke when racing season starts up again in a few weeks.

I was going to ask a similar question...seems like half the people say 450's are to much for most people, way to hard to ride, wear you out, to hard to ride, only 4 or 5 people in the world can ride them, etc. etc. And the other half say they are so easy to ride, take no skill, make you lazy, anyone can hop on one and go fast.

So which is it? Are they easy to ride or hard to ride?


8/15/2017 9:35 AM

I could never get over the weight! I did much better on my two-stroke 250. I kept waiting to catch up to where I was once I switched to 450.
Arenacross was easier for me on the 450 because I just left it in second gear. It was like riding an automatic.


It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

8/15/2017 9:44 AM

This is a great question. I feel like if I made carbon copies of myself; same skills, same fitness, same everything, and raced against myself on all bike sizes, here's what would happen:

125: I'd be nipping at the heels of my other selves most of the moto. I'd be strongest of all of us at the end but probably back a few corners unless bad luck befell the rest of us. 4th place.
250F: I'd be tired. If I stalled it even once (a likely scenario,) my 125 self would be all over me. 3rd place.
250: I'd crush everybody off the start (yes, you read that right.) I'd be loose, fast, and loooong gone within half a lap. I'd be riding hard and using a lot of focus to do this, however, and there's a chance my 450F-riding self would catch me by moto's end because of fatigue. 1st place.
450F: I'd feel compelled to ride hard to keep up with my 250 self. This would give me arm pump and wear me out. I'd still be going fast even when my strength went away, however. Depending on conditions I might catch my 250 self by moto's end. 2nd place.
500: I'd play "Hang on for dear life" for a few laps then crash my brains out. DNF.


Braaapin' aint easy.

8/15/2017 10:03 AM

I wouldn't say it has made me a "better" rider.

however, I am happy to say that with 30 years of experience on all size bikes both 2 and 4 stroke I can ride my 450 the most consistently. As others have mentioned, I can ride it in the meat of the torque curve and flow around the track usually in 3rd gear with consistency and with the least amount of energy expended.

I still love my 250 2 stroke and it is more exciting for me to ride and challenging from a rider sensation standpoint but it doesn't make it better or worse, just a different riding experience!


2021 KTM 350 SXF
2006 KX250

8/15/2017 10:27 AM

If I ever switch from my 2t 250 to a 450 it will likely be for safety reasons. High speed, high rpm 2T riding always makes me feel on edge, there's alotta HP on tap in that power-band and it wants to spin that rear tire fast! 4T's feel more mellow and stable and the same speeds/obstacles require far less RPM.


Life's a garden, dig it.

1996 CR250R
2016 YZ450F
2001 Suzuki Bandit 600
Coleman BT200x

8/15/2017 11:50 AM

jeffro503 wrote:

A lot of variables in this question. Your size , weight , speed and most importantly....your riding fitness. Also depends I ...more

I considered this also. Im 6' 215, and although its more detrimental than anything Ive been a gym nut most of my life. I dont get fatigued but i do get horrid arm pump.

Some say its lazy to leave a 450 in one gear around most of the track... isnt that kinda the idea? Using the torque to your advantage? Personally i HATE 125s. Even when rapped out they dont want to pull my weight. I remember going to this jump in the dunes after breaking my 450 and buying a 125, it was uphill and i could launch my 450 prolly 80' or so. I hit it with my 125 wide open and clicking gears and forget airing out, the damn bike made it a struggle to even climb its way up to the jump.

Everyone goes on and on about a 10lb difference, and i dont know whether its my low ability, my size or what but i cant notice weight for shit from bike to bike. I always kinda thought that argument was silly anyways, esp for a woods rider. By the time you hit your first muddy area you've collected 10lbs of mud under the fenders anyway


8/15/2017 12:26 PM

C riders and pros.

Most in between have the problem of the bike riding them.


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